Gazing Ball Palette | Premo Color Recipes Vol-051-B

Gazing Ball Color Palette by Polymer Clay Tutor1-B: Solitude
3-B: Gazing Ball
4B: Flower Pot

Years ago, Doug’s Mom Harriet, gave us some Gazing Balls to put in the garden. These unique adornments are actually a revived tradition dating back to the Victorian era.

Gazing Balls or Globes are steeped in history and folklore. According to, “…the gazing ball is said to have been invented in Venice, Italy, in the 13th century. Skilled glass blowers crafted beautiful spheres in many sizes and colors. An Italian priest and chemist, known as Antonio Neri, referred to gazing balls in 1612 as ‘spheres of light’. Francis Bacon, in the 16th century, remarked that a ‘proper garden would have colored balls for the sun to play upon’. The gazing ball became popular in the 19th century because King Ludwig II of Bavaria had the balls placed throughout the gardens at his castle Herrenchiemsee, a replica of the castle at Versailles. Many homes in Europe and the United States had gazing balls in the Victorian era.”

Also from Garden Guides, “…gazing balls have had many names through the centuries: spirit balls, witch balls, friendship balls, butler balls and spirit catchers. People thought gazing balls brought good luck and prosperity to a home and abundant growth to plants and flowers. Homeowners put them near the front door of the house to keep evil spirits and witches away. Victorians gave them to each other as gifts of true friendship, thus the name friendship ball.”

Now the Gazing Balls in our garden are strictly there as pretty ornaments and not as an instrument to ward off evil spirits… though if they were capable of it, I would be fine with that :)

And since they are so pretty… and since Willow did a fine job capturing their beauty in this photograph, I think they make an excellent source of inspiration for our next B-Series Color Palette.

Gazing Ball Color Palette by Polymer Clay Tutor

Everyone who is subscribed to my Polymer Clay Guest List will be able to download the following recipes free, one per week on Friday mornings during the month of August 2012:

  • Solitude (Recipe 051-1B)
  • Reflection (Recipe 051-2B)
  • Gazing Ball (Recipe 051-3B)
  • Flower Pot (Recipe 051-4B)


Solitude is the palest soft green found in the highlights of the gazing ball, as it sparkles in the garden. Reflection is the soft gray found not only in the reflection on the glass but in the background as well. (If you look closely in the ball, you will see the photographer reflected there as well). Gazing Ball is the turquoise color of the blown glass reflecting globe. And Flower Pot is the warm brown of the moss covered flower pot, where the Gazing Ball sits, so it doesn’t roll its way out of the garden.

The recipes described above are from the Volume-051 B-Series Palette. They are free to download for everyone subscribed to my Polymer Clay Guest List, Friday Email Newsletter.

If you want to see the Volume-051 A-Series Color Palette that paid library members will also receive during the month of August, then click here: Firetruck Color Palette

Really gorgeous, Cindy! Thanks so much for all of your striking palettes…your color recipes are just phenomenal! ~Phaedrakat

Just recently I finally decided to print out all your color recipe cards and purchased all the rest of the colors I needed to mix them up. It took a few days to mix it all but I now have a notebook full of the recipe cards with the color chip attached to them. I hand make miniature bonsai and other miniatures. I am using your color recipes to make the pots for the bonsai. Some of the colors are just out of this world beautiful. If I never did anything but mix colors I’d probably be perfectly content. ~Kathy-H

Beauty, beauty everywhere, in each color that you have created with love. How awesome is that? There aren’t “thanks” enough, Cindy for all the effort. ~Joyce-F


If you would like more information about the Members Library, here are some direct links:

Library Member Benefits and What Others Are Saying
Order Page for Color Recipe and Video Back Issue Packages
Become A Full Member at the Library

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  1. Monique U, 16 July, 2012

    I am constantly amazed by your wonderful subject choices, Cindy… and Willow’s great compositions. Noticed her reflection right away… love that touch! I think 051-3B will be one my new faves.

  2. pollyanna, 16 July, 2012

    beautiful colors with a twist. very usfull in our polymer library

  3. Claycass, 16 July, 2012

    I like those colors, so I have to get ready set g…… I seem to miss the B series. On Fridays I go straight to the members site to watch the video. I have to start making sure I go to the email and link on the recipes.

  4. Monique U, 16 July, 2012

    Claycass, I would be one sad girl if I were to miss any of Cindy’s beautiful colour sets. I have gotten in the habit of religiously responding to emails first thing every morning… of course on Fridays I am very tempted to skip to Cindy’s email, but I force myself to read them all in order. Then I save the B-series first ( actually to my hard drive AND to a separate USB drive, just in case LOL). Only then do I wander over to the members-only section. I am happy to say I have never “forgotten” any recipes with this habit.
    When I am ready to mix clay colours I also have a little notebook to do my calculations as I make very small samples, just for reference, since I don’t buy much Premo brand. I save my baked colour samples in the same notebook to have for comparison.

  5. Jeanne C., 16 July, 2012

    I love gazing balls, and have one in my back yard. Great colors!!

  6. pattw35, 16 July, 2012

    Had to laugh. We had a gazing ball in our backyard. Neighbors said it bounced too much light in their faces SO – I covered it with mosaic pieces and it now sits all covered up. How sad LOL

    The color captured in this recipe is so different than the ones before. Make you think a lot and learn to SEE all the colors. Thanks for this lovely recipe.;)

  7. Cindy Lietz, 17 July, 2012

    Yeah, you got to be careful when you’re living next to Vampires… they don’t like too much light… ;)

  8. Linda Kropp, 28 July, 2012

    Very funny, Cindy!

  9. Elaine Faulks, 18 July, 2012

    I decided to leave my garden to the wildlife this summer. With so much rain falling in the last couple of months my bamboo which I had got a neighbour to dig up, has sprouted again and is taking over once more.
    My roses and creeping vine has covered the back fence with wild bindweed scrambling through but it’s white blossoms shine in the moonlight. My bird table and nest boxes are occupied by all manner of wild birds and squirrels and frogs enjoy the solitude.

    I love the idea of gazing balls. Saw a lot of them when I visited the USA but never thought to get one. Now with Willow’s stunning shots and Cindy’s dreamy colour pallete I will be looking forward to our autumn (your fall). Will re-design the layout to include a large gazing ball. Thanks Cindy, have already made some sketches and now have to find a good gardener to do some heavy work…………………………………….cheers xx………………………………………..

  10. Jocelyn, 18 July, 2012

    With these beautiful colors and pic (thanks, Willow!) I think little mini polymer clay made gazing balls for use in plants and terrariums would be great. You’d have to super buff shine it, but they would be adorable.

  11. Peggy Barnes, 25 July, 2012

    Great job Willow, your reflection is very neat. I almost see someone standing in the back on what would be your left side as if in front of a house maybe. Maybe they are there and maybe not. There is nothing I enjoy more than to take a picture or a wall with textures and make several pictures from the different designs and such. Yes I am weird, but I love it.

    Then the colors Cindy as always are so beautiful. I think I have mentioned it before but my youngest Son-in-law is color blind and I never thought it to be a problem till I really started looking at colors and enjoying them so much when I came to your blog and tutes Cindy. Now I enjoy color so much and the depth of it and richness it contains. How sad someone who is color blind can not see or understand this about colors.

    Well then gazing balls I love have them in my garden and spirit balls as we call them I have a few any have purchased my Mother several over the years because of the love she has for the color in them and how it changes with the sun shine and the moon even. True beauty. Now what I would like to know Cindy is how do you come up with all these names???????

  12. Cindy Lietz, 25 July, 2012

    You know Peggy, coming up with the names for the colors in the palettes is becoming harder and harder, especially as the palettes pile up in numbers.

    I sit there and look at the palette and then stare out the window by my desk, trying to decide on names that not only suit the colors, but seem somewhat relevant to the subject of the picture. When really stuck, I will pour through paint chips and see if a name in there will spark something.

    It really helps if the subject is something I haven’t ever done before (like with this gazing ball or the firetruck palette). Then at least I know the names will be original. Made the mistake once of using the name Butterfly Garden twice in my recipes. Sue Fisher caught it and I had to go back and change one of the names. Now I have a long spreadsheet of color names that I can cross check so I don’t cause any confusion by doubling up on names.

    I am really looking forward to going on some PcT Roadtrips, so that Willow and Doug can get inspiration photos from entirely different locations and subjects. Then it might not be so hard coming up with new names!

    Thank you as always for your kind sweet heart. I love having you here and part of our clay family!

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